Public Schools

Firearms and Tactics Training for School Staff

Does your state and school district authorize school employees to be armed?

Is the safety of your students and staff a top priority?

Do you understand how difficult and unlikely it is for police to intervene in time to stop a school shooting?

If so, begin taking proactive steps to secure your school against this worst-case threat.

DSI offers training for school staff members authorized to carry firearms.

Securing a school against the threat of an armed attack is subject to the tyranny of time. Physical security measures such as locked doors and controlled access, while helpful against lesser threats, do little more than delay a determined, armed attacker. Once inside the school, an attacker will have his way until either he decides to stop (often taking his own life), or an armed person stops him with force. These events are often over, with tragic consequences, within the first 5-10 minutes, well before responding law enforcement officers are able to intervene.

Armed SROs (School Resource Officers) on scene can make a critical difference, but few school districts can afford to have one in every school, and a single armed defender who is uniformed and easily identifiable, and whose schedule and location is known or predictable, may be of limited value against a determined attacker who has planned his actions well in advance, as all school shooters do. 

An emergency 9-1-1 call is usually not made until someone clearly identifies the threat, and this can take minutes after an attacker enters the school. Dispatchers then send first responders, but communications and assessment eat up more vital seconds, when on average (based on historical experience) another victim is shot every six to eight seconds. Police will then respond rapidly, but the meaning of "rapid" is contingent upon distance and the number of officers on duty and available. Even urban and suburban schools may not see officers on scene for several minutes, and remote rural schools may be on their own for half an hour or more. When the first officers arrive, current training protocols (based again on historical experience) call for immediate entry, but they still must locate the threat and move toward it in a chaotic environment, impeded by panicked or injured victims, confusion, conflicting reports, and in some cases barriers, obstacles, or booby traps deployed by the attacker. Case studies paint a disturbing picture of how these situations develop - and time is not on the side of the responders.

The only possible defense that can save lives in the first, critical moments of an active killer event is to have armed, trained, trusted defenders on scene, able to respond within seconds to stop the carnage. In more and more jurisdictions across America, school employees who volunteer and meet legal and policy requirements are being authorized to carry concealed firearms on school property. They are the front line defenders of their schools.


DSI's Training will Ensure that Your School Can Deter a Violent Attacker, or Defeat Him in the First Critical Moments

To be safe in both normal, everyday circumstances and in a crisis, and to be effective in stopping an ongoing school shooting requires specific individual skills and mindsets that can only be developed and maintained through training. DSI offers this training. Our training is accessible and effective for anyone, from experienced firearms handlers to new gun owners. We train staff members to work together to defend their school, and to interface safely with responding police. We also train lifesaving immediate responder medical skills that can save the lives of gunshot victims in the minutes before Emergency Medical Services arrive.

You will find, as school districts across America have already found, that once you have dedicated, trained defenders in place, the likelihood of ever suffering an armed attack shrinks to near zero. Quite simply, mass shooters avoid venues where immediate armed resistance is likely.

DSI will teach you how to defend innocent lives. You will learn how to safely and discreetly carry a concealed handgun, how to shoot well when shooting is justified, and how to employ the individual and team tactics necessary to effectively confront and defeat a violent threat in your school before the authorities arrive.  Our instructors, all of whom have significant law enforcement and military backgrounds, will train you on exactly what to do from the moment the threat appears to the arrival of first responders. 

DSI Training Integrates Firearms Fundamentals with Reality-Based Scenario Training using Non-lethal Training Firearms

DSI's Tier 3 (Schools) course provides 16 hours of live fire handgun training suitable for both beginning and advanced students, combined with eight hours of scenario based training specific to the challenges of confronting lethal violence in a school setting. We use trained, scripted roleplayers in controlled but high-stress scenarios that teach you to apply your skills decisively and effectively under the pressures of a real world encounter. Our pre-course online materials will familiarize you with the history and salient characteristics of mass shootings in general and school shootings in particular. Before ever setting foot on the range, you will have absorbed the cognitive material to which most trainers devote hours of sedentary, classroom lecture. Access to our online Defense Academy will provide you videos and instructions for safe, simple drills that will jump-start your learning - and provide guidance for ongoing training practice to maintain and improve your skills. The leverage provided by our pre-course and post-course online support, and the proven accelerated pace of our training event, will provide you with skills comparable to those of highly skilled military and police operators, but tailored specifically to your needs.

Training Philosophy


The Industry Standard Vs. The DSI Standard

Using military, law enforcement, and common private industry training standards as a gauge we want to give you a sense of how the DSI standard compares to the "industry" standard.

The industry standard focuses on range safety and artificiality by using tightly controlled, on-line, square range drills or movement under tightly controlled drills (such as "box" drills), in order to focus on draw speed and hits in a given area under a certain time limit. This type of training is often accompanied by hours in the classroom presenting declarative knowledge, which eats into the available live fire training time. When critical topics like use of force are taught in a classroom, rather than on your feet in the sudden, uncertain, violent and chaotic setting of combat (real or simulated) students are more likely to either overreact, or to hesitate and be afraid to apply the appropriate level of force.

DSI begins by looking at reality: the actual conditions of a gun fight. We believe that firearms skills must be integrated at the earliest possible moment with maneuver (movement with purpose). We believe that most of the declaratory knowledge can be absorbed by the student through readings, narrated videos, and dry practice drills on his schedule and on his own premises, before he ever sets foot on a range - especially if he has access to instructors to answer questions that may arise. We believe that your paid, on-range, supervised training time is a precious resource that should be maximized.

To be able to defend yourself, DSI believes you need to be killing enabled. Regardless of your technical skills, if you have not processed the issues surrounding deadly force well before the moment of crisis, if you cannot kill another when it is necessary to save yourself or other innocents, then you will fail.

Furthermore, one can only make proper decisions in lethal force engagements by way of orientation in the sense of Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop, and orientation only comes via experience under conditions as close as possible to those that will exist in a gunfight. Orientation relies on experiential knowledge, which cannot be attained only by reading or talking about scenarios. Nor can you survive a lethal encounter if your conscious mind is distracted from vital decisions to engage in every choice of action or technique. DSI’s training techniques develop sound, reality based semi-conditioned responses to maintain your situational awareness, maneuver safely, and react aggressively to contact. Your trained gun handling skills will take care of themselves, and the higher level conscious decisions – whether to shoot, how and whom to shoot – are fast, focused, and uncluttered. You will train this way from the start in both dry and live fire drills, and then reinforce that learning through challenging RBT (Reality Based Training) scenarios in our tactical training programs.

Solid curricula that pre-loads the declaratory knowledge, and then teaches integrated firearms and tactical skills in a reality-based environment will produce individuals and teams more capable than most military and police units. We base this statement on our personal experience of having trained thousands of military and law-enforcement personnel over 25 years). Operational police and military units (those units actively kicking in doors day in and day out) may be able to outperform our clients in certain aspects, based on that all-important factor of experiential learning (basing actions and decisions under stress on a fund of prior, applicable experience). But DSI can develop and implement effective training faster, applying the best and latest techniques and lessons-learned; and present it in a more compressed, highly effective format, because we have neither bureaucratic hoops to jump through, nor institutional inertia to overcome.